Review Category : College

What Is The Best College To Go To In The Future?

Overview I have been asking for years in my ‘your smart money moves’ column if we could really put a monetary value on a college education.  The great debate over public school vs. private school on the high school level will continue because there isn’t a ton of empirical data, but thanks to our friends at PayScale (www.payscale.com), there is beginning to be a lot more evidence around what school really delivers a bang for your buck.   We all know that past performance cannot be a guarantee for the future, but there is a set of trending data that makes it interesting to see what schools in the future will deliver you return on your investment if you choose to take out student debt or your parent’s fork over the cash for a college education. PayScale provides a forecast for the financial return on investment (College ROI) for a bachelor’s degree at public and private colleges through the year 2025. ...

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What Every Student Needs To Know About Student Loans As They Graduate

Now that the graduation speeches have commenced, many college graduates will be embarking on their 1st job in the official workforce.   According to the USA Today, student loan debt has increased a whopping 84% since the 2008 recession and has now exceeded more than 1.2 trillion dollars.   With the average student debt payment around $280 a month, here are some facts and figures all students should know about their student loans as they graduate. Know Your Grace Period This is how long you can wait for repayment although you can start repaying automatically Six months for Stafford Loans Nine months for Federal Perkins Loans Other loans such as PLUS loans will vary loan to loan Understand Your Loans National Student Loan Data System (www.nslds.ed.gov) will be the central place to look at all of your loans Determine your federal loan balance Track down all private loans so you can compile one master loan spreadsheet At some point, you might consider ...

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I Took A College Course In My Car

Living in Atlanta almost my whole life, I have seen the traffic get worse each year.  After the 1996 Olympics, the city just seemed to get really big and really spread out.  The amount of time Atlanta drivers have to spend in their cars is on the rise.  The metro Atlanta average commute is 28.7 minutes, with some areas over 40 mins.  A study by Harvard Health Watch found that the average American spends 37,935 hours driving a car in their lifetime. Cranking Radar Love by Golden Earring on the stereo can be fun on occasion, but I thought I should take advantage of this wasted car time.  Why not feed my brain on the way to my next appointment or commute.  There are a number of online programs that you can pay for, or you can chose to get some free podcasts from Open Education Database: http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/skip-the-tuition-100-free-podcasts-from-the-best-colleges-in-the-world/ What do you do during your wasted car time? Written by: Van Pappas ...

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FREE Always Comes With A Significant Cost

The President recently announced his intention to get a proposal through Congress that would make two years of community college ‘free’ for students.  Of course, the plan doesn’t have an actual price tag attached to it yet.  I guess it may not matter because all we do know is that it would be ‘significant’ if some 9 million students across all 50 states would benefit with an average bill of close to $4,000 per child. I am personally not for this proposal, but here are some potential thoughts on some pros and cons of creating this new type of free schooling proposition: CONS: Doesn’t solve the real problem:  The real issue is the runaway freight train of college costs.  We already have well over 50 colleges and universities that more than a 1 billion dollar endowment.   And, these are supposed to be non-profit organizations, right?  There’s an oxymoron if I have ever heard one. Will needy children actually benefit?:  Most ...

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Do You Know About The Academic Common Market?

College education is clearly one of the largest financial challenges amongst families in their financial plan today. Parents unfortunately often don’t devise a quality game plan or research all of their options until the 11th hour when their first child goes to college. In fact, many parents inaccurately fill out their FAFSA forms because they don’t research the questions and the actual underlying answers that FAFSA is actually asking for when you fill out the forms. More and more, parents are encouraging children to attend an in state school in an effort to make college costs reasonable. However, one way parents can potentially cut their college tuition costs and have their children attend out of state school is to research the academic common market. Consider this for a moment. The states surrounding you have a similar issue as the state you live in now. They are getting more and more in state applications, and that creates considerable risk to have ...

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The Rising Cost Of A College Application

We see so much in the news today about the rising cost of college education and the crushing statistics around student debt.   These sobering figures are giving much cause for consternation around whether the cost of an elite college education is really worth the price of admission.  Just the other day, I shared with a young couple that to put their newborn through a fully funded elite private school education would require them to save almost $1,000 per month!   Although there is much debate about college education, hardly at all does anyone discuss the costs of just applying to get to that college education.   With application fees being another boon for colleges, here are some smart money moves figures you need to plan for within your family budget as your child prepares for the application process. Application Fees– With a school like Harvard that received over 35,000 applications @ $75 a pop, it represented over 2 million in application fees ...

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Why Wouldn’t Student Loans Be Forgiven?

Last week I was invited on to NBC 11 Alive news in Atlanta to discuss this recent article (http://cnb.cx/1ubs042) that shared a study where it was discovered that 24% of all Millennials expect that their student loans will ultimately be forgiven.   That’s a downright scary statistic.  One in four of the kids who are borrowing money to pay for their current college education expect that they won’t have to repay the very debt that they borrow.   How can this be?  Isn’t this generation the most educated of all time?   What is going on in America?   Here is my smart money moves take on the details and where this is headed. First things first, I’m not really sure at all why we are surprised by this sentiment.   Back in the real estate crash of 2007 & 2008, how many people simply handed over the keys to their properties, walked away from their homes, and came out unscathed by never fulfilling their ...

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Do Ivy Leaguers Get Better Rates For Loans

As most of know, student debt is becoming the new silent killer for generation Y.   People in their 20’s and 30’s may need to find different alternatives on how to pay off their student debt or even how to refinance the debt.   Programs seem to be popping up all over the internet and I recently had the chance to interview Mike Cagney, CEO and Chairman of SoFi which is a company who can help with figuring out your student debt and more. If you need to refinance your student loans, SoFI (www.sofi.com) has some really cool programs: Fixed rates can start as low as 3.63% and variable rates even lower.  SoFi has its own specific underwriting process that allows them to be more selective with the types of students it loans to currently.   Think about it.  Better school, consistent job, etc. might mean you have a much better ability to pay back the lender. Unemployment protection is an excellent feature ...

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Selling Jewelry to Help Pay for College

Over the years I have met people who have sold their jewelry for hundreds of different reasons from saving the rain forests and donating to charities, to paying medical bills and forming a new business. We have helped clients pay for weddings and divorces, debt relief, retirement and to help family members in financial need. I can relate to all of these life events, but as a father, the one I relate to most easily is paying for my children’s education. We have helped many graduates pay off the debt that they have acquired while getting an education. We have also helped many parents and grandparents contribute to 529 plans – a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to help save for future college costs. Jewelry proceeds that are invested early have the time to grow tax free within a 529 plan and jewelry sold today, to pay down debt that could’ve accrued over the years, presents a much better financial footing ...

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